Police in Vientiane Province have arrested three men suspected of stealing cabling used for lighting inside the tunnels of the Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway.
Authorities reported that cabling used for lighting inside the tunnels of the Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway had been stolen in April, causing the tunnel to go dark.
According to Viengchan Police News, the suspects were identified as Lamphong and Tiyai, both 20-year-old residents of Saensoum Village in Phonhong, and 44-year-old Inthasone, a resident of Khamhoung Village, Xaythany District of Vientiane Capital.
The three men were arrested in June after police opened an investigation into how the cabling had been stolen.
The three suspects admitted to police that they had stolen cables from the Vang Vieng Expressway multiple times in order to sell them illegally, making anything from LAK 50,000 to LAK 250,000 each time.
Cables made from copper, steel, and other valuable metals fetch high prices at scrapyards, and have been stolen several times in the past.
The Vientiane-Vang Vieng Expressway Company reported total damage at USD 380,000.
According to Lao law, those who engage in activities deliberately posing a danger to the safety of aircraft, ships, trains, vehicles, airports, ports, train stations or bus stations are subject to heavy fines and up to twenty years imprisonment.